Jan Leeming says paying to watch TV channels is a 'waste of money'

Why I won’t renew my TV licence: Legendary BBC newsreader Jan Leeming, 78, says paying to watch the channels is a ‘waste of money’ after corporation scraps freebie for over-75s

  • Former newsreader Jan Leeming says she will not pay for a TV licence next year
  • Miss Leeming says she watches very little and licence fee is a ‘waste of money’
  • She takes aim at the fee being used to help pay large salaries of some BBC staff

Jan Leeming says her current TV licence will be her last. She will not pay for another next year because she watches very little and it is a ‘waste of money’

She was a familiar face to millions of BBC viewers in the Seventies and Eighties.

But Jan Leeming says her current TV licence will be her last. She will not pay for another next year because she watches very little and it is a ‘waste of money’.

The former newsreader, 78, said she has just forked out £157.50 for her licence, which she has had to start paying for again after the BBC ended free TV licences for most over-75s at the beginning of the month.

Miss Leeming, who also presented Pebble Mill At One, said it was once value for money but is not now, with so many other ‘outlets’ for people to watch. 

She said she was interested only in some programmes on BBC4 but could ‘live without it’. 

‘Ouch – just wrote cheque for £157.50 for [my] TV licence,’ she wrote on Twitter.

‘In the past it was probably value for money but [I] hardly ever watch terrestrial TV – not interested in soaps, cookery and delving into people’s lives with so many reality programmes – there are so many other outlets nowadays. The licence has been around so long [I] can’t remember – is [the] licence only for BBC?

The former newsreader, 78, said she has just forked out £157.50 for her licence, which she has had to start paying for again after the BBC ended free TV licences for most over-75s at the beginning of the month

‘If it is then I need not have paid it as there’s very little on it that I watch? Then I’ve just wasted my money. How do the police know whether you’ve paid or not? I like some BBC4 repeats but can live without it. Won’t renew next year.’

She also took aim at licence fee money being used to help pay the large salaries of some BBC employees.

‘It’s the way our money is spent by the BBC that annoys me. There are too many overpaid people,’ she said. 

‘My bete noire is the current ‘crop’ of news presenters who have celebrity status and salaries to match.’ 

Miss Leeming, who began regularly reading the TV news in 1980, left the BBC in 1987. 

She has since appeared in reality shows I’m A Celebrity… and The Real Marigold Hotel.

In 2018 she criticised the BBC for broadcasting too much sport – and not enough of the ‘sensually appealing’ drama Poldark.

At that time she was entitled to a free TV licence and wrote on Twitter: ‘If I did pay for a licence, I’d be asking for a refund.’

Miss Leeming, who began regularly reading the TV news in 1980, left the BBC in 1987. She is pictured above reading the news

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